Japanese Crown Prince Akishino spoke out in a surprisingly candid manner against the negative tabloid and media coverage of his daughter, former Princess Mako, and her husband.
Crown Prince Akishino, brother to the current emperor of Japan, criticized the media during a press conference commemorating his 56 birthday.
“If you read the tabloids, well — I’m not sure how to say this exactly — but there’s a lot of things in there that are fabricated, although there are also some opinions we should listen to,” the Crown Prince told reporters.
“As for articles on the internet, there are also lots of comments … and some of them say really terrible things,” the Japanese royal added. “There are people who are deeply hurt by this slander.”
The comments were unexpected from a member of the Japanese royal family, which is known for maintaining privacy and avoiding controversial statements.
Mako renounced her royal title to marry a commoner
In accordance with Japanese Imperial law, the former princess became a commoner in order to marry her husband Kei Komuro in October. She forfeited a sum equivalent to $1.36 million usually given to female royals upon marriage.
The couple moved to New York City in November to begin a new post-nuptial life together. Komuro is studying to retake the bar exam and Mako is also anticipated to begin a career in the United States.
An initial controversy sparked a relentless, years-long media frenzy
Intense scrutiny had followed the couple since 2017, when their engagement was first announced. The initial controversy began because of a financial dispute with Komuro’s mother, who allegedly did not repay a loan from ex-fiancé.
Japanese tabloids continued to relentlessly attack the couple for any perceived faults, including the hairstyles Komuro chose. The public hounding led to the former princess being diagnosed with PTSD earlier this year.